Yudhisthira organizing a Rajsuya yagna
After the victory in the Kurukshetra war, Yudhishthira was crowned the king of Hastinapur. He then decided to perform a grand yagna for the well being his subjects. He gave precious and expensive gifts to all his subjects. Everyone thought this was the grandest yagna they have ever seen. Everyone was praising for the grand yagna and the precious gifts.
A half golden Mongoose comes to Yagna
Suddenly, they saw a mongoose. This mongoose body was half golden. He was doing a peculiar thing. Mongoose was rolling on the floor and kept looking at his body as if expecting something to happened.
Mongoose declares that yagna was not impressive
After doing above exercise two three times, the mongoose looked at Yudhisthir and said, that their was nothing impressive about the yagna. Everyone who was present there was stunned. Yudhisthir also was very hurt by the words of the mongoose and was wondering why mongoose spoke these words. As he has religiously followed all the rules of yagna and given charity to poor and needy.
Naturally, mongoose was told that this was the most glorious yagna of all time but mongoose smiled and said, after listening to this story you can decide on your own the greatness of the yagna.
The mongoose narrates his story
Long time ago, in a small village, there lived a poor brahmin with his wife, son and daughter- in law. They were very poor and had a hand to mouth existence. But they were very pious. Once a great famine hit the village. Brahmin family was also starving. One day, the old brahmin find a handful of barley grains. His wife and daughter-in law cooked it and divided it into four parts, one for each one of them. They were about to eat the food.
Suddenly, a guest arrived. He was tired and hungry. Brahmin washed his feet and gave him his share of cooked barley. Th eguest eats it but says it was too little and he was still hungry. Then brahmin’s wife gave her share of barley to the guest., but that too was not enough to satisfy his hunger. Then his son and and finally his daughter-in law also gave their share of food to the guest to satisfy his hunger.
After finishing the food the guest smiled and re-appear in the form of God Dharma. God said you have performed the greatest yagna in the world and granted a boon, and fill the home with food and said it is not the quantity that you offer but the quality of love and care given in one’s circumstances.
The Mongoose was passing the house at that time and accidently he fell on the scrap of food which had remained on the floor after being offered to the guest. Mongoose was amazed to see that the side of the body which touched the food turned to gold.
Mongoose was wondering to all yagna with a hope that there would be another such great yagna where the other side of the body too could be transformed into gold. That’s why he tried this in Yudhisthira’s yagna but was disappointed and thus concluded that his yagna could not be as great as that of the poor man and his family. Then he goes.
Then Yudhisthira realised that large gifts from a sinful person is of no value, but a small gift from righteous person given with love is of great value. Thus good conduct, truthfulness, uprightness and self controlis equally important.